Wireless CCTV - Is the technology ready?
Source: LS VISION
With the growth in the acceptance of wireless technologies, we are still yet to see the predicted rise in wireless video – indoor or outdoor.? The technologies are converging and I believe we are on the cusp of a major boom in secure, digital wireless networked video.? The benefits of wireless networking are well documented, and I won’t go over them again here, but I’d like to address the main issues that we have seen hinder the take-up of wireless video as form of CCTV deployment.
There have been two main issues that have hindered the take up of wireless video:
The perceived security of the networking solution
The reliability with connecting devices and nodes.
However, not so well documented are a further two issues that have been identified by educated installers of wireless video, namely:
The capacity of the network
The simplicity of installation.
The issues we have seen with security of analogue wireless technology over the recent years are the largest single area that most people cite as the reason for not progressing with wireless video.? Effectively if you had an analogue video system in your building, it was possible, for anyone with the right technology, to tap into the system and see inside your building – an obvious pitfall!? However, with digital wireless technology this issue is overcome, with various levels of encryption including AES – a ‘NATO’ level of encryption and SSL authentication – widely used in secure transactional internet sites.? With robust encryption, the security reason alone is no longer valid for not progressing with wireless video.
Again, the main issue of reliability has been brought along by analogue wireless solutions.? Outdoors, any bad weather brought major problems to a wireless environment.?? Also, any reflective surfaces caused ‘ghosting’ of video images – one extreme implementation on the coast saw a major problem as the tide came in and out!?
However, in the digital world the 802.11 standard overcomes many, but not all of the reliability issues on its own.? 802.11 is based on military technology and has largely overcome the reliability problem, especially when digital wireless solutions are combined with the TurboCell protocol which has a highly-optimised polling technique to improve the transmission and streaming of video. In combination with the optimised adaptive polling technique employed by a TurboCell base station, actual throughput performance of the 802.11 network is closer to optimal performance.
When you review the major strides forward in security and reliability of certain digital wireless video network solutions it could be hard to see why more hasn’t been made of the technology.? However, two other issues surface, especially for those organisations who have tried deploying wireless technology – capacity and simplicity of deployment.
Within analogue solutions, whether you were using the 2.4 or increased 5.x GHz wireless bands you can only get three cameras streaming video of good quality, however with digital solutions that use high quality MPEG-4 (rather than JPEG) video in conjunction with the TurboCell polling protocol can actually achieve between 9 and 33 cameras installed on the 2.4 GHz bands, or between 33 and 120 cameras over the latest 5.x GHz bands.? This allows for much more compressed video, over much longer distances than has previously been experienced.
Inherently, wireless video networking, whether digital or analogue involves many pieces of equipment, including encoders, wireless radios, telemetry, alarms, audio devices, etc.? But technology differs greatly, and as such the extent of devices you do or don’t need differs too, technology is available that brings together wireless video, audio, PTZ control, alarms, motion detection, etc in a single box.